Arizona court upholds man’s convictions, death sentences

May 24, 2022 GMT

PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a man’s convictions and death sentences in the 2012 killing of his nine-months pregnant girlfriend who was bound, handcuffed and gagged when her partially burned body was found in a bed by firefighters responding to an apartment fire.

A Maricopa County Superior Court jury in 2018 convicted Dwandarrius Robinson of two counts of first-degree murder and one count each of arson of an occupied structure and of kidnapping.

The jury returned death-sentence verdicts on murder convictions in the deaths of Shaniqua Hall and her unborn child after considering defense evidence related to Robinson’s upbringing and the prosecution’s alleging of seven circumstances warranting capitol punishment.

On one appeal issue, the Supreme Court unanimously rejected Robinson’s arguments that jurors wrongly abused its discretion in finding that prosecutors ’argument that Robinson murdered each victim in an especially heinous, cruel, or depraved manner.

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A medical examiner concluded that Hall most likely died from asphyxia from smothering or strangulation, blunt force trauma, ligature restraint or some combination. It wasn’t determined whether she was alive when the fire occurred.

Robinson also was sentenced to prison terms on the kidnapping and arson convictions.